Texas Subaru Dealer: 2 for 1 Car Deal

Subaru of Plano 2 For 1 Car Ad

As president and chief executive officer of Subaru of Dallas and Subaru of Plano, David Thomas knows this economy is a difficult one for car dealers.

But reluctant consumers are not deterring Thomas from end-of-the-year marketing campaigns. In fact, this past week has been a boon for business — thanks to an enticing “two-for-one car payment deal” that some consumers walking onto his lots simply could not refuse. Thomas says his dealership devised a plan to combine solid marketing strategies with an effective deal that gives consumers in a slowing economy a boost.

The deal is simple: Thomas and his team on specific dates decided to offer consumers a pre-paid two-year lease on a Suburu Impreza for only $1 with the purchase of a 2009 Subaru Outback. Thomas says on the second vehicle — the Impreza — consumers are required to pay only the sales tax and bank acquisition fee.

Thomas’ dealerships offered the deal on Black Friday after Thanksgiving and relaunched the campaign Dec. 23. The second campaign will conclude on Jan. 2.

“It is working with the two-car payment family who wants to string two payments into one,” Thomas said. Thomas says his numbers show the deal was well worth the brainstorming it took to create an enticing offer — adding that sales last week rose 30% beyond what was anticipated for one of the last weeks of December during a slow period. Thomas says the offloading of eight cars would have been considered a good week last week for a dealership of his size, but he beat that estimate selling approximately 12 cars.

The second campaign launched after Black Friday was a success with the dealership selling more than twice what was expected without the sale, Thomas said. On a normal Friday after Thanksgiving, Thomas would have found five or six car sales enough to declare it a good day. He outdid that estimate by selling 12.

Thomas says he’s not the first dealership to engage in this brand of marketing. A Chrysler dealership up north tried a similar campaign, he says, offering a new car and a used car for a dollar. Thomas adds that his dealership’s inspiration for the campaign was a Best Buy ad in which the store offered a top-selling, highly valued product with a second product — allowing buyers to capitalize on a sale that gives them two products they really want.

“Since we started doing it, there is a local Nissan doing the same thing,” Thomas said. They are structuring it differently, but they are doing a modified version of it.”

Thomas says the deal only works if the resale value of the car offered up with a pre-sale lease is expected to remain stable over the course of two years. He says dealers offering vehicles with poor price retention will generally be unable to devise a similar plan. But when they can, he sees a chance at opportunity.

“I think it’s kind of a good marketing story,” he told the DBJ. “It’s kind of positive news for the car business.”

Thomas praises the strategy for its use of creativity and anticipates his dealerships will finish the year in good shape.

[ Source: Dallas Business Journal ]

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